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large egg whites (warmed to room temperature)
pinches cream of tartar
(3.9 oz) box instant chocolate pudding
Place a bowl with a 10-inch diameter on a sheet of parchment paper lining a baking sheet. Trace a circle on the paper and set aside.
Using a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer on high until it begins to create peaks. Slowly pour in sugar while continuing to mix. Continue until the mixture is really stiff and glossy (about 5 to 7 minutes).
Use a spatula to smooth the meringue on the parchment paper, using your trace as a guide. Gently create a shallow “bowl” in the middle so that the meringue almost resembles a nest.
Bake until it appears dry (about 75 to 90 minutes depending on your oven). Turn off the oven and let it remain in the oven until completely cooled (about 5 hours). If possible, it’s even better if you make the night before and let it sit in the oven overnight.
When you’re close to serving time, make the instant chocolate pudding following the directions on the box. Let sit in the refrigerator for about 5 extra minutes.
While pudding is setting, carefully peal your meringue off of the parchment paper and place on a serving platter. Fill with the chocolate pudding. Keep a little extra pudding if you choose to use in the next step.
Finally, top with a homemade whipped topping. Store bought whipped cream will also work.
If desired, add some of the reserved pudding to the whipped cream for a chocolate topping. Cut and serve immediately.
More About This Recipe
- Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for many things this year, especially the three F's: Family, friends and food! I'm also thankful to share my love of food (and cocktails!) with you, my Tablespoon peeps.
To show my appreciation on this day of thanks, here's a little extra treat to feast your eyes on while the body digests its T-day dinner delights. A Chocolate Pavlova.
If you're not familiar, a traditional pavlova is a light meringue dessert that is usually topped with various fruits or lemon curd. I thought I'd try something a little different with a chocolate pudding filling. It's a little bit heavier than the traditional recipe, but with the marshmallow-y meringue crust and whipped cream topping...I'll give it a pass on the heavy.
The meringue is really easy to make, it just takes some time and patience. Start out by preheating your oven to 200 degrees. Place a bowl with a 10-inch diameter on a sheet of parchment paper lining a baking sheet.
Trace a circle on the paper and set aside.
Using a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer on high until it begins to create peaks. Continue until the mixture is really stiff and glossy (about 5 to 7 minutes). Use a spatula to smooth the meringue onto the parchment paper, using your trace as a guide. Gently create a shallow "bowl" in the middle so that the meringue almost resembles a nest.
Bake until it appears dry (about 75 to 90 minutes depending on your oven). Turn off the oven and let it remain in the oven until completely cooled. If possible, it's even better if you make the night before and let it sit in the oven overnight.
When you're close to serving time, make the instant chocolate pudding following the directions on the box. Let sit in the refrigerator for about 5 extra minutes. While this is setting, carefully peal your meringue off of the parchment paper and place on a serving platter. Keep a little extra pudding if you choose to use in the next step.
Finally, top with a homemade whipped topping. If you're looking for a quick fix, store bought whipped cream will work just fine. I added an extra layer of chocolate love by swirling in some of the reserved pudding into the whipped cream. Once completely mixed in, it looked really pretty next to the meringue crust.
Now you're ready for some love. Cut. Serve. Enjoy!
I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with love and thanks.
With (pav)lova from me to you,
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup dark-brown sugar
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
- Dark-Chocolate Cream
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
- Milk-Chocolate Curls, for garnish
Make the meringue: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Draw an 8-inch circle on parchment, then flip. Mix whites, sugars, and salt in a mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugars dissolve and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
Sift cocoa powder over meringue, and fold until barely any streaks remain. Using an offset spatula or a large spoon, spread meringue into a round, using circle as a guide. (Be careful not to spread out too much meringue will spread more during baking.) Form a well in center, being careful not to spread meringue too thin.
Bake meringue until dry to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool on sheet on wire rack. Meringue will keep, covered, for up to 1 day.
To assemble pavlova: Spread dark-chocolate cream evenly in center of meringue, leaving a 1/2-inch border from edge. Spread whipped cream over chocolate cream. Garnish with chocolate curls, and serve immediately.
High on our love list this month: flattering crop tops, celeb group selfies and impressive recipes that are deceptively easy. Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert (named after Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova) that requires little more than turning on your mixer and opening your oven door. This version is made with a chocolate-flavored base and topped with chocolate ganache and a healthy dollop of whipped cream. The result looks as swanky as a cake, but without all that decorating fuss.
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
Finely chopped chocolate, as garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Make the Meringue: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until thick and foamy.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder. Gradually add this mixture to the whipping egg whites and increase the speed to high. Whip until the egg whites are thick and glossy and can hold a peak when the whip is dipped into the meringue.
4. Use a spatula to mound the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a circle the size of your intended serving plate. Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringue is dried out and crisp. Cool completely.
5. Make the Ganache: In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a small bowl. Mix until the ganache is smooth. Pour the ganache over the cooled meringue base and spread gently with the back of a spoon. Let set for 15 minutes.
6. Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff. Mound the whipped cream on top of the ganache and spread to the edge with a spatula. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate.
7. The meringue base can be made one day ahead and stored in an airtight container. The finished pavlova can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 150ºC (130ºC fan) mark 2. In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk 6 large egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in 350g (12oz) caster sugar, 1tbsp at a time, then continue whisking for 5min until stiff and shiny. Fold in 2tbsp sifted cocoa powder, 50g (2oz) grated plain chocolate and 1tsp white wine vinegar.
Line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment. Spoon the mix on to the paper in a rough 20.5cm (8in) round and bake for 1¼hr. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool for 1hr or overnight - don't worry if it cracks.
Pare 100g bar white chocolate into curls. Whip 284ml carton double cream until it just begins to hold its shape, then fold in all but 2tbsp of the chocolate. Spread over the pavlova and top with 2 sliced peaches and the remaining chocolate. Serve immediately or chill for up to 5hr.
Look, no one is ever going to marry me for my pavlova. (I mean, talking about dodging a bullet…) This one was particularly underachieving. First, I thought I’d be clever and try to add the cocoa at the start, mixed with the sugar, so that it would mix the best. Nope! It never fully whipped. With this in the trash, I began my next one, breaking an egg yolk right into the white. I can usually get it all out (tip! use the empty shell as a scooper/skimmer) but not this time. I started a new bowl and, yup, did it again. Finally, with six uncompromised egg whites and cocoa stirred in only at the very end, ensuring a respectably thick, shiny plume of meringue, I began piling my chocolate plumes on a 9-inch round parchment circle, only to realize this wasn’t very bright, as the meringue would spread. I cut a new, larger square of parchment and used the old one as a sling/tube-of-a-pastry bag to land the new one in a great, elegant swirl and then fell over laughing (and texting everyone I know with the picture because: all grownup here!) because it looked precisely like everyone’s favorite emoji. Smoothed into more of a mound, I baked it at the wrong temperature and it got too crispy and riddled with cracks. Anyone left reading from New Zealand just is doing this right now. (Don’t worry, I retested it — woe is me — to confirm that the correct temperature and times are indeed correct.)
But I have one thing going for us, and that’s that this pavlova is the most chocolaty I’ve ever had. The apartment air was steeped with eau de brownies, the very best perfume. Even a day later, this cake of a meringue is decadent but not heavy, basically dessert magic. Do not be deceived, as I have been in the past, by the pale beige shade of the outer shell — inside, it’s like a truffle with the impact of and the texture of a pillow.
One of the reasons I think pavlovas can be a hard sell outside, say, the Pavlova Motherlands of Australia and New Zealand, is that I hear from most people that they find them to be too sweet. But I was able to reduce the sugar a bit from the norm here and didn’t miss it adding salt also helps as does chocolate, not just because things with chocolate > things without chocolate but because the bitterness of cocoa and chopped chocolate here really kept the sugar in check, as does a plume of barely sweetened whipped cream and a cascade of berries. Let’s not even pretend that we don’t want to swan dive in.
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
1.5 Years Ago: Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie
2.5 Years Ago: Broccoli Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole
3.5 Years Ago: Coconut Bread
4.5 Years Ago: Potato Knish, Two Ways
Chocolate Pavlova with Berries
Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle the sea salt, cocoa, vinegar and then the chopped chocolate over the egg whites and gently fold everything with a rubber spatula. I intentionally left mine a little swirly/undermixed.
Shape the pavlova: You can secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a dab of meringue underneath it. Mound the meringue into the 9-inch circle, smoothing the sides and top if you desire.
Bake the meringue: Place in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. The pavlova will bake for 60 to 90 minutes, but most likely in the middle. When it’s ready it should look crisp on top and feel dry, but when you prod the center you should feel, in the delightful words of Nigella, “the promise of squidginess” beneath your fingers. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely inside. You can leave it overnight. It can also be kept at room temperature until needed.
To serve: When you’re ready to serve, invert the cooled pavlova onto a big plate and peel off the parchment. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Pile it onto the meringue. Scatter with berries and shave chocolate over with a vegetable peeler. Serve in wedges and keep leftovers in fridge.